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marks 13th anniversary
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
marks the 13th Anniversary since the historic formation of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), a movement that advocates for the
writing of a new people-driven, democratic constitution. Since its
formation in May 1997, the NCA has grown from strength to strength,
never looking back in its quest for Zimbabwe to have a people driven
constitution that is produced through an open, independent and autonomous
We take this opportunity
to celebrate and salute the unrelenting efforts by the people of
Zimbabwe shown by their refusal to surrender their destiny and future
to the self-seeking politicians of this country. The people of Zimbabwe
under the able leadership of the NCA have posted some emphatic victories
on constitutional reform. One of the biggest victories being the
2000 referendum when the NCA led a massive campaign for the rejection
of a flawed document doctored by the Executive and the Chidyausiku
commission. This defective constitution disregarded the views and
expressions of the people of Zimbabwe.
The victory by the people
led by the NCA was the first electoral defeat by the brutal Mugabe
regime. This victory marked the beginning of a thorny road to the
attainment of democracy in this country.
As we reflect the trials
and tribulations that our movement faced during the past thirteen
years, we take time to remember and salute the unwavering, selflesssacrifice
made by the people of Zimbabwe. These gallant sons and daughters
of this land faced unlawful detentions, beatings, abductions and
all forms of torture. We salute all those who died in the fight
for a people driven constitution, May their souls rest in peace.
Ten years after
the politicians wanted to cheat the people of Zimbabwe into accepting
a constitution, they had not written, the government seems not to
have learnt a lesson from this fraudulent plan. Once again they
have now ganged and are trying in vain to impose a constitution
on the people of Zimbabwe. This year the constitution is being written
by a group of parliamentarians under the name 'COPAC,'and
the process is not people driven in every sense of imagination.
With the confusion about the purported lack of resources and the
delays, the process as stipulated in the Global
Agreement has missed its own deadlines and is now lagging behind
by 13 months.
The past thirteen years
has made us a formidable force to reckon in the political arena
despite little and at times no funding from partners. In the previous
year, prophets of doom had already made false prophecies that the
NCA was heading for the grave, as those with resources tried in
vain to force the NCA to renege from its founding principles and
join the COPAC process, a move we totally rejected. Instead they
proceeded to fund the COPAC stakeholders' conference. The
conference ended up as a circus as delegates ended up fighting amongst
themselves and thereby producing nothing at the end of the day.
We also wish to express
our great displeasure to the utterances made by the MDC President
and Prime Minister of the Republic, Morgan Tsvangirai, at the May
Day celebrations in Dzivarasekwa last Saturday when he dismissed
the position of the NCA saying that parliamentarians were elected
by people and therefore that they should lead the process. It is
quite unfortunate considering that Mr Tsvangirai is the founding
Chairperson of the organization called the NCA, an organization
he lead in resisting the Chidyausiku-Moyo draft constitution in
February 2000. As the first Chairperson of the NCA we urge Mr Tsvangirai
to come back to the founding principles and values that formed the
NCA and the MDC as articulated by the resolutions of the National
Working Peoples Convention of February 1999.
The NCA wishes to re-affirm
its position regarding the writing of the 'Bible' of
As the NCA we crave to
clearly state that we are unshaken and we will not be remorseful,
we will continue to be guided by the following principles;
1) The process of making
a constitution is as important as the content of the constitution
2) A defective constitution-making
process leads to a defective constitution
3) The only process that
is valid for the making of the constitution is a people driven process,
because a constitution must be by, and for, the people.
4) It is only through
a people driven process that a constitution becomes legitimate thereby
deserving respect by both present and future generations.
5) A process which is
either led or dominated by the main political parties of the government
of the day or parliament is, by that fact alone, not people driven.
A people driven process
is one which;
6) is not controlled
by the government of the day or parliament of the day or the political
parties of the time.
7) is led by an independent
body chaired by a non-partisan person of integrity and composed
of all stakeholders including political parties, government, parliamentarians
and all sections of civil society
8) provides for full
participation by all citizens, including those in the Diaspora.
9) does not allow any
person or group to change the draft constitution produced by the
people whether before or after the referendum.
10) provides for a free
and fair referendum
11) A people driven process
requires a political environment where citizens enjoy freedoms and
rights such as the freedom of assembly, of association, of movement
and of expression (including full media freedoms).
The NCA, through the
Take Charge Campaign would be conducting a series of activities
countrywide, educating and informing the people of Zimbabwe about
constitutional matters and urging them to vote NO to a constitution
that is a product of a few elites. We remain fully committed in
ensuring that one day the people of this country will be given a
chance to decide their own destiny. In the same manner we know that
we will die one day, we believe that Zimbabwe will realize a democratic
people driven constitution
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